Okay, I admit it. I am one of those people who put up their winter decorations a little too early. On the contrary, I'd say it's never too early to start planning a month full of Christmas-themed activities for your students.
Below you will find 24 Christmas activities that you can incorporate into your middle school language arts class.
1. Letter to Santa
Put a twist on the classic letter to Santa with this holiday writing prompt. Students must convince Santa to take them off his naughty list using persuasive writing. This engaging activity will sharpen your students writing skills and allow them to reflect on their character.
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2. Prove that Santa Claus is Real
Are you sure Santa Claus isn't real? Have your students write a persuasive essay on why Santa is not fake. This holiday activity will surely challenge students to think outside the box and use their creativity.
Learn More: Literacy Ideas
3. Seasons Comparative Essay
Every season has its own character with different weather, holidays, and activities. Students can write a descriptive writing piece that compares two or more seasons. To take it one step further, students can argue why one season is the best.
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4. Stuck in a Snow Globe Digital Craft & Writing Project
Imagine being stuck in a snow globe! What would you worry about if you were? How would you plan your escape? Students can use this creative writing prompt to write a short story to pair with this digital art craft.
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5. Would You Rather?
Would You Rather is a fun game for all ages, even adults. You can use these different prompts as a more casual discussion topic in your class, or you can have students write a formal position paper on their answers.
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6. Christmas Random Writing Prompt Picker
A little randomness always adds a little extra fun. Use this festive writing prompt picker with the list included in the link below. These prompts cover both descriptive writing and creative writing, so your students are sure to get lots of different writing practices.
Learn More: Minds in Bloom
7. Crossword Puzzle
Need a short, Christmas-themed activity that is suitable for any grade level? Try a crossword puzzle to get students in the holiday spirit.
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8. "Should Christmas Be Everyday?" Debate
My favorite activity in middle school was 100% competing in classroom debates. Being able to create and communicate a persuasive argument is an invaluable skill. In your classroom, try the debate question, "Should Christmas Be Everyday?". Or brainstorm other debate questions with your class.
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9. Read "The Burglar's Christmas" by Willa Cather
A Burglar's Christmas is a heart-warming short story about a failed burglar who reunites with their mother. This fiction presents themes of hardship, love, and forgiveness. These topics can surely stimulate an interesting discussion among your middle school students.
Learn More: The National Willa Cather Center
10. Read "A Christmas Memory" by Truman Capote
A Christmas Memory tells the story of a young boy's Christmas through the perspective of the boy himself, an account of the author's own upbringing. Reading this descriptive autobiography is a great exercise for students to engage their characterization skills.
Learn More: Good Reads
11. Read "The Greatest Gift" by Philip Van Doren Stern
The Greatest Gift is an excellent short story that covers topics of misery, life, and death. Students can collaborate and discuss the themes in this story. Compare and contrast the book to the movie adaptation, "It's a Wonderful Life", to add more entertainment to your classroom.
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12. Learn About Other Winter Holidays
We all know Christmas isn't the only holiday celebrated during this time of the year. Students can learn about other celebrations, such as Hanukkah and Chinese New Year, using this unit study set.
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13. The Santa Interviews
If you've got a theatrical bunch of students, putting on this short play can be an entertaining classroom activity for the holiday season. Invite other classes to join the fun and watch the play before the holiday break!
Learn More: Drama Notebook
14. Read "Jane Austen's Christmas: The Festive Season in Georgian England"
If you are looking for a short Christmas novel, Jane Austen's Christmas provides a historical account of holiday festivities during the later Georgian period. This holiday nonfiction reading will teach your students the games, songs, and recipes of this time.
Learn More: Good Reads
15. Read "Old Christmas"
Don't forget about this classic festive reading. Old Christmas contains a collection of essays about the holidays, written by Washington Irving, a man who helped instill the strong Christmas spirit in America.
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16. Christmas Riddles
Figuring out riddles is an excellent activity to include in your language arts classes. Reader's Digest has a list of ideas you can use that are suitable for both younger and older students.
Learn More: Christmas Riddles
17. Watch The Polar Express
No one is too old for the classic Christmas film, The Polar Express. Even I remember watching it at school as a kid. If you are looking for a no-prep, relaxed activity before the break, put on this movie for you and your students to enjoy!
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18. Read "Christmas Trees" by Robert Frost
Poetry is another great form of literature for English teachers to use in the classroom during the holiday season. Have your students read Christmas Tress and examine the literary devices used in this work of art.
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19. Read "A Child's Christmas in Wales" by Dylan Thomas
A Child's Christmas in Wales is a highly descriptive poem retelling the holiday experiences of Thomas as a child. This detailed and nostalgic poem can be used as an excellent segue into a descriptive writing activity.
Learn More: Good Reads
20. Create Holiday-Themed Poetry from Iconic Images
What's better than reading and analyzing poems during Christmas time? Actually writing the poems. Writing poetry will challenge students' creative skills. Get them to use Christmas-themed images to help them to focus on a subject for their poem.
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21. Teaching Poetry Through Riddles
Writing riddles is another engaging language activity. This resource will guide students to analyze and create their own riddles using figurative language. Have your students write Christmas-themed riddles to add some holiday spirit.
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22. Write Letters of Appreciation
The holidays are the perfect time to show appreciation to those in our lives. As an activity in your language arts class, have students use their expressive language to say thanks in a letter to a classmate, teacher, or family member.
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23. Beyond the Story: A Dickens of a Party
Charles Dickens's A Christmas Carol is a classic read with a storyline that never fails to entertain. Take the story a step further by hosting a holiday party with the book's characters. Students can attend as characters at the party.
Learn More: Read Write Think
24. Christmas Mad Libs
I remember all the fun I had filling up my mad libs journals when I was in middle school. Although this activity may be a bit easy for your older students, they will have a good laugh and review the different parts of the speech.
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